Few creatures are more pitiful than a teething babe. It starts with a cascade of drool which quickly turns to a whole buffet of discontent. Diaper rashes! Nighttime wake ups! General irritability marked with bouts of inconsolable crying! (Yourself included.) Eventually the mountain of a tooth pops through and things get back to normal for a minute before the cycle starts all over again. It’s going to take a lot of patience and snuggles to get through this months-long milestone, but luckily baby teething toys can help.
Starting around four months old, you may begin to notice the telltale signs. Luckily, it’s around the same time that most babies have enough coordination to bring toys to their mouths. Teethers, also called teething toys, are specifically designed to give them something to chew on to help relieve the pressure as the tooth works its way through.
There are lots of different kinds of teethers on the market, and it may take some experimentation to figure out which style your little one prefers. Depending on which stage they’re in they may prefer a softer material like fabric or silicone. Others may get more relief from harder wooden teething toys. Some styles can even be chilled for maximum soothing. If one doesn’t seem to keep their interest or offer relief, swap it for another!
We’ve rounded up some of the most engaging, effective and best teething toys for babies that get rave reviews from our own babes as well as highly-rated styles that tons of parents agree on. And while every style we’ve included is created with the utmost safety standards, it’s important to inspect your baby’s teething toy before you hand it over. If it becomes damaged in any way, stop using it immediately. Also, since mold loves a wet environment, be sure to clean and disinfect them regularly. Many kinds we’ve included can be tossed right into the dishwasher!
Best Teething Toys for Babies
With two hard beech wood rings and a softer silicone ring, our littles love this engaging teether from Loulou Lollipop. It’s easy to hold and in addition to offering satisfying textures to chomp, it doubles as a rattle.
The Evolved Parent Co
Sold as a set of six, the colorful silicone teethers from The Evolved Parent Co are great for little ones who hurl everything to the ground. (Spoiler alert: That’s all of them!) Most shapes feature open space that’s easy to grasp or can be used to attach the teether to the car seat, stroller or wherever your little one is perched. (These silicone straps are great!) When the teething stage passes, they’re also great as bath toys.
How adorable are these handmade teethers? Made with quick-drying natural linen lined with crinkle fabric and a beechwood ring they’re great for keeping hands and mouths busy.
The two-in-one bib by BooginHead is absolutely brilliant. The stylish design is part drool catcher, part undroppable teething toy! Attached to the corner of the bandanna is a textured silicone tab that they can easily maneuver into their mouths when they need a bit of relief. Bonus points for being super stylish and easy to wash.🙌
Teething babies love to cram their entire hands into their mouths. These clever mitts make that move all the more satisfying! (Not to mention saving you the hassle of picking up a dropped toy that’s then out of commission.) The soft and flexible mitten features a velcro strap to keep it in place and makes a great option for little ones who are still working on grasping and aiming. Sold as a set of two.
Anjie + Ash
We admit it. We’ve worn these necklaces even without a teething baby (or even a baby in general) around. They’re that stylish! Designed to be easy for babies to manipulate, they also feature a patented clasp that releases if they tug too hard. There are different sized beads to keep baby engaged, and are all made of non-toxic silicone. Prices vary.
A totally classic option, this simple round teether can be frozen for extra soothing power on baby’s gums. It’s filled with super safe distilled water and each nub offers a varied raised texture to explore. Easy to grab by tiny hands and easy to clean for busy moms!
Chances are if you’ve attended even one baby meet up, you’ve seen this bad boy in action. The super popular Baby Banana offers little ones a soothing, nubby surface to chew as well as their first introduction to oral hygiene. The silicone bristles are a satisfying texture for sore gums while the “peels” provide an easy way to grasp. It can also be popped right into the dishwasher!
If your baby has started solids already, this teether is ideal for them as it allows baby to experiment with flavors while soothing soft gums. You can fill the teether with anything—breastmilk, purees, frozen fruit—and keep frozen for extra comfort.
Sophie la Girafe
There’s no teething toy more popular than the soft natural rubber Sophie la Girafe. Does it look like a fancy glorified dog toy? Yes. Does it also possess some freakish ability to calm, soothe and entertain (almost) any baby who gnaws on its squeaky head and hoofs? Also yes. We don’t understand, but we’re not going to question it either.
For snuggles with a side of gnawing, we love the sustainable designs from the Sri Lankan brand Tikiri. The duo-purpose loveys feature a GOTs certified organic cotton muslin body with an organic natural latex head that’s perfectly shaped for chewing.
Rest assured–the classic Manhattan Toy Company Skwish rattle and teether won’t disappoint. With over 4K ratings, this engaging toy can easily squish down, which helps soothe sore gums, while the beads slide back and forth on the dowels, acting as the audibly stimulating rattle. Babies are drawn to the dynamic colors and textures on the toy, and it’s easily graspable thanks to the no-slip sustainable wood.
With over 32K 5-star ratings, it’s hard to deny the love of these paci-turned-teether toys. The familiarly styled design is easy for the littlest teethers to manipulate while the bumpy texture offers plenty of relief. For added soothing, turn it over, fill with water and freeze for ten minutes!
If there’s a more stylish teether out there, we haven’t found it. TBH, we’ve got a big crush on all things January Moon. The modern style, fabulous colors and endlessly engaging designs feel almost MOMA worthy. And as far as babies are concerned they’re equally irresistible. This particular style is a stand out given the multitude of chewable shapes as well as the included pacifier clip to keep it from getting dropped or lost.
Parents love this option because it can double as a teether and a snack holder. You can fill the mesh pouch with ice or a food item like frozen fruit or veggies to help soothe sore gums and fill little bellies. The mesh style reduces choking hazards as it only allows tiny bits of digestible food through, and the ring handle is safe for baby to chew on as well as it is BPA-free and made from 100% food-grade silicone.
A version of this article was published July 20, 2020. It has been updated.